Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Rob Mazurek's Black Cube SP on a Euro Tour in November 2015

Cornetist and composer Rob Mazurek leads his
Brazilian/American ensemble
- Black Cube SP -
on a European tour in November 2015

Black Cube SP combines the venerable São Paulo Underground trio, comprised of Rob Mazurek, Guilherme Granado and Mauricio Takara, with Thomas Rohrer, master of the keening rabeca (Brazilian viola). The music is electronica-laced Tropicália characterized by glistening sonic textures, unabashedly beautiful melodies, an expansive improvisational palette and fiercely gleeful interplay.

Listen to an exclusive track of the new album courtesy of The Wire:

Audiences should prepare to be astounded and enthralled. Be there as Black Cube SP unleashes a musically potent and spiritually powerful torrent of avant jazz, Brazilian folk, electronic and psychedelic music across Europe!

- psychedelic modern spirituals -

November 2015 Euro Tour Dates

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA - Wednesday, November 11, 2015 @ 9PM
Strada Constantin Mille Nr.4, 031178 Bucharest, Romania
40.744.900476 / /

TENERIFE, SPAIN - Friday, November 13, 2015 @ 9PM
Calle Fuente de Santa Cruz, s/n, 38003 Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands /

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - Saturday, November 14, 2015 - 2 Sets @8:30PM and 9:30PM
Piet Heinkade 3, 1019 BR Amsterdam, Netherlands
31.20.788.21.50 /

FORLI, ITALY - Sunday, November 15, 2015 @ 6PM
Via Orto del Fuoco Forlì, Italy
39.338.1699000 / / Presented by Area Sismica

TRIESTE, ITALY - Monday, November 16, 2015 @ 9PM
Piazza Luigi Amedeo Duca degli Abruzzi, 3, 34132 Trieste, Italy
39.040.365119 / /

LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA - Tuesday, November 17, 2015 @ 8PM
Presernova 10, Ljubljana, Slovenia
386.124.17163 /

FERRARA, ITALY - Friday, November 20, 2015 - 2 Sets @ 9:45PM and 10:45PM
Via Rampari di Belfiore 167 Ferrara, Italy
39.339.788.62.61 /

For tour updates see: |

Interested in booking a show:
Paco Barba for North America:
Fred Finelli for South America:
Jakob Flarer for Europe:



[L-R: Thomas Rohrer, Rob Mazurek, Mauricio Takara, Guilherme Granado  |  Photo: Antonio Rossa]

"Mazurek's most personal and poignant offering to date; cathartic and compelling, it combines avant-garde jazz expressionism, bold electronic experimentation and hypnotic Tropicália rhythms with a profound spirituality."
- All About Jazz

"Nothing less than an aural spirit quest.”
- Jazz Times

"Mazurek finds a challenge irresistible, and this is one of his most exciting projects."
- The Wire

Rob Mazurek - cornet, electronics
Mauricio Takara - drums, cavaquinho, electronics
Guilherme Granado - keyboard, synths, sampler
Thomas Rohrer - rabeca, soprano saxophone

For Mazurek, the sudden and unexpected passing of his mother Kathleen Mazurek, in May 2013 set him on a quest to honor her bountiful spirit and acknowledge her transition to another realm. Compelled to compose in the days and weeks following his mother’s death, Mazurek gathered in São Paulo, Brazil with long-time collaborators Mauricio Takara and Guilherme Granado from the celebrated São Paulo Underground trio and Thomas Rohrer, master of the keening rabeca (Brazilian viola) who earned his stripes through intense studies with leading practitioners in Brazil’s northeast.

Mazurek describes the recording as “a shamanistic journey where we sonically clear a path for my mother into the unknown to ensure her safe journey to the next.” Black Cube SP’s debut album, Return the Tides: Ascension Suite and Holy Ghost documents this startlingly cathartic and magisterial modern psychedelic spiritual that’s as riveting as it is ravishing.

Click this link to download photos, hear sound samples and learn more about Black Cube SP:
Cuneiform Rob Mazurek/Black Cube SP Website

Listen and share excerpts of Return the Tides: Ascension Suite and Holy Ghost



[Rob Mazurek | Photo: Guido Gazzilli]

"Mazurek's cornet playing, always affecting and timbrally luminous, achieves the paradox of being simultaneously corporeal and ethereal."
- The Wire

Rob Mazurek - cornet, electronics, keyboard, piano

Chicago cornetist and composer Rob Mazurek’s broad electro-acoustic palette defies simple categorization and has earned him a reputation as one of the most respected figures on the international creative music and avant jazz scenes.

His expansive vision and vast catalog of over 300 compositions and 52 recordings (released on some of the world's most respected record labels) have kept him reshaping modern music's cutting edge for the past three decades with inspiration from jazz, Latin, alternative rock, modern classical, electronic and experimental music. Mazurek currently leads and composes for Chicago Underground Duo, Exploding Star Orchestra, Pulsar Quartet, and Pharoah and the Underground (featuring Pharoah Sanders).

His work receives worldwide praise from publications such as The Wire (UK) and DownBeat (USA), and earned him the title of International Musician of the Year in Italy’s Musica Jazz magazine. His recordings have been listed among Top 10 Records of the Year in the New York TimesLos Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune.

For more information on Rob Mazurek:
Rob Mazurek Official Website | Cuneiform Rob Mazurek Website



[L-R: Guilherme Granado, Rob Mazurek, Mauricio Takara | Photo: Jason Marck]

“A visionary jazz-rock trio.”
- The New York Times

“Limitless in its possibilities.”
- Rolling Stone

“A modern approach to Brazil's Tropicália, that takes into account advances in sound manipulation and engineering. It is street music from the Brazilian subterranean avant-garde and it is confusingly wonderful.”
- All About Jazz

“The Post-Don Cherry melodic splendor of Chicago cornetist Rob Mazurek has never been clearer, and it finds a simpatico home amid the polyrhythmic chaos forged by his Brazilian cohorts. This high-energy romp takes the sting out of the term fusion in the best possible way.”
- DownBeat

Rob Mazurek - cornet, electronics
Mauricio Takara - drums, cavaquinho, electronics
Guilherme Granado - keyboard, synths, sampler

São Paulo Underground is a power trio that links Chicago’s volatile creative music scene with São Paulo, Brazil’s leading experimental musicians.

Its music embodies a fascinating mixture of Sun Ra-esque cosmic noise with rhythms and phrasing from samba, maracatu, rock and free jazz traditions.  Founded in 2005, during Mazurek’s eight-year Brazilian sojourn, São Paulo Underground’s dauntless sonic explorers continue a relentless search ten years later.

Click the link to download photos, hear sound samples and learn more about São Paulo Underground: Cuneiform São Paulo Underground Website


Rob Mazurek and Black Cube SP
Return the Tides:
Ascension Suite and Holy Ghost

[2014, Rune 399]

Rob Mazurek /
Exploding Star Orchestra
Galactic Parables: Volume 1
[2015, Rune 409/410]

Rob Mazurek Octet
Skull Sessions
[2013, Rune 349]

São Paulo Underground
Beija Flors Velho E Sujo
[2013, Rune 359]

São Paulo Underground
Tres Cabeças Loucuras
[2011, Rune 325]

Thursday, October 29, 2015

TOUR // Adam Rudolph's Go: Organic GUITAR Orchestra: November Concerts + New Album

Adam Rudolph's Go: Organic GUITAR Orchestra
Celebrates the Release of Its Debut Album
Turning Towards The Light -
with shows featuring
Ten All-Star Guitarists
in Baltimore, Philadelphia and Brooklyn
from November 21-23, 2015

Adam Rudolph with his Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra

Based in NYC, Adam Rudolph has long been a key figure in the jazz and world music communities, working both solo and in long-term collaboration with such renowned musicians as Yusef Lateef. A composer, bandleader, and percussionist, he is deeply immersed in hybrid music and interactive live performance using written and graphic charts and conducted improvisation. For the last 14 years, Adam has gained widespread acclaim for his Go: Organic Orchestra, which features a variety of classical, ethnic and modern instruments. Described by the New York Times as “A visionary large performance”, The Go: Organic Orchestra's live performances are legendary. In 2014, Rudolph assembled a new, all-guitar version of Go: Organic Orchestra and went into the recording studio.

On October 2, 2015, the Guitar Orchestra's debut album, Turning Towards the Light, was released on Cuneiform Records. You can listen to/purchase this album, on Cuneiform's Bandcamp page:

To celebrate this release, ten world-renowned guitarists including Brandon Ross, Nels Cline, Damon Banks, Marco Capelli, Liberty Ellman, David Gilmore, Joel Harrison, Miles Okazaki, Kenny Wessel, and Jerome Harris, will play from music charts composed by Adam Rudolph, while he also conducts improvisations for three album release concerts in Baltimore, MD, Philadelphia, PA and Brooklyn, NY.

Adam Rudolph's Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra concerts are certain to rank as one of 2015's best shows, featuring genuinely original, captivating and interactive performances. In concert with his Guitar Orchestra, Rudolph will weave his all-star guitarist’s respective styles and tones into a lush and complex sonic tapestry before the audience’s eyes. Whether you love guitars, or orchestras, or beautiful contemporary music that defies single genres, these shows are not to be missed.



Record release concerts for Turning Towards the Light!
Featuring music composed and improvisationally conducted by Adam Rudolph
Performing guitarists on this tour:
Nels Cline, David Gilmore, Miles Okazaki, Damon Banks, Marco Cappelli, Liberty Ellman, Joel Harrison, Jerome Harris, Brandon Ross, Kenny Wess

November 21
USA The Windup Space
12 W. North Ave
Baltimore MD 21201
(410) 244-8855

[facebook event]

presented by
Creative Differences
November 22
USA Fringe Arts
140 N. Columbus Blvd. (at Race St.)
Philadelphia, PA

[facebook event]

presented by
Ars Nova
November 23
USA Roulette
509 Atlantic Avenue (at the corner of 3rd Avenue)
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(917) 267-0363

[facebook event]

November 14
USA Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
915 E 60th St, Chicago, Illinois 60637
Old and New Dreams Festival [tickets]
[facebook event]

We look forward to seeing you at these very special concerts!

Any help you can give to spread the word about these shows is greatly appreciated.

Concert booking: Adam Rudolph's Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra is available for festival bookings worldwide. To book a show, please contact



STREAM/SHARE: "Heliotropic"


Cat. #: Rune 406, Format: CD / DIGITAL DOWNLOAD
Genre: Guitar / Improv / Experimental / Jazz / Creative Music
Release Date: October 2, 2015

Turning Towards The Light Track Listing:

1. Sun Salutation (4:20)
2. Nommo (4:48)
3. Solar Boat (5:16)
4. Galactic Drift (3:38)
5. Flame and Moth (7:10)
6. Lambent (4:04)
7. Sol Sistere (4:04)
8. Specular (4:19)
9. Scintillant (2:11)
10. Plane of the Ecliptic (3:18)
11. Refracted (2:04)
12. Heliotropic (2:49)
13. Turning Towards The Light (6:21)

for radio:
FCC: Clean!

Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra:
Rez Abbasi - electric guitar
Damon Banks - electric bass guitar
Marco Capelli - acoustic guitar, effects
Nels Cline - electric guitar
Liberty Ellman - electric guitar
David Gilmore - electric guitar
Joel Harrison - electric guitar, national steel guitar
Jerome Harris - electric guitar, electric bass guitar, lap steel guitar
Miles Okazaki - electric guitar
Marvin Sewell - electric guitar, electric slide guitar
Kenny Wessel - electric guitar, banjo

Composed and improvisationally conducted by Adam Rudolph

Published by Migration Music BMI
Recorded live in studio on December 21, 2014 - Winter Solstice
Recorded, mixed and mastered by James Dellatacoma at Orange Sound Studio, NJ
Cover and musician photos by Adam Rudolph
Design by Sylvain Leroux

Produced by Adam Rudolph

On the Winter Solstice of 2014 – the Northern Hemisphere’s longest night of the year – composer, bandleader & percussionist Adam Rudolph convened 11 of New York City’s finest and most adventurous guitarists in a New Jersey studio for a most auspicious event: the debut of Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra, his all-guitar orchestra.  In attendance were guitarists Rez Abbasi, Nels Cline, Liberty Ellman, David Gilmore, Miles Okazaki, and Marvin Sewell, all on electric guitars and effects; Damon Banks on bass guitar; Marco Capelli on acoustic guitar, effects; Jerome Harris on electric guitar, electric bass guitar, and lap steel guitar; Joel Harrison on electric guitar and national steel guitar; and Kenny Wessel on electric guitar and banjo. Rudolph had assembled an all-star orchestra; each of these remarkable guitarists were composers and bandleaders in their own right, with a collective musical experience that spanned a universe of contemporary music, from Wilco to Cassandra Wilson to Ornette Coleman and beyond. The studio’s atmosphere on that dark November night was electric. With Rudolph at the helm, an antenna conducting musical charts and creative improvisational energy, the orchestra began to play.  The result is this extraordinary release, Turning Towards the Light, the dawn of Rudolph’s visionary, all-guitar “Future Orchestra” and his first release on DC-based Cuneiform Records.

Turning Towards the Light is the 10th release in Adam Rudolph’s series of recordings for Go: Organic Orchestra, a concept for “new” global/creative orchestra that he began developing in 2001. His previous 9 recordings for Go: Organic Orchestra, released on Meta Records, featured an array of instrumentation to bring to life his rhythmically unique creative music. But for Turning Towards the Light, Rudolph envisioned a new kind of orchestral sound conveyed by a single instrument: guitars, whose strings, coaxed by the right hands, are capable of unleashing an orchestra of different musical sounds. He says: “I try to do something new with each performance and recording. This time I wanted to experiment with a new kind of orchestration. I felt that with their range of sound and rhythm, these 11 electric guitars could generate a sonic palate that had never been heard before. I was looking for a new kind of “Future Orchestra”  – and I think we found it.”

Rudolph grew up and began playing music on the South Side of Chicago, performing with artists like Fred Anderson. By 1978 he was touring Europe with Don Cherry. Hailed by the New York Times as “a pioneer in world music”, in 1977 Rudolph began his collaborations with kora player Foday Musa Suso, followed by his work with the Gnawa musician Hassan Hakmoun, L. Shankar and other musicians from around the globe.  His longest and most significant collaboration was with the great Yusef Lateef; from 1988 until Yusef’s passing in 2013 they performed as a duet and collaborated as composers on many large ensemble projects. “Even when I started focusing more on my own music projects in the early 1990’s, I would always make the time to tour and record with Yusef. I learned so much from him not only about music, but how to live a deeper more spiritual life.”

Since 1992, Rudolph’s primary outlet for his unique compositional vision has been his Moving Pictures ensemble. But in 2001, he founded Go: Organic Orchestra to expand his instrumentation. “I had always been interested in the idea of an orchestral concept of world music, and fascinated not only with the sounds but also with the organizing concepts that structure orchestrations from around the world. …the colotomic structure of Javanese Gamelan or the thematic fibers of a Bantu drum and trumpet orchestra are all valid ways of organizing orchestra. At the same time my approach to orchestra comes out of my work since 1974 in electronic music.  With Go: Organic Orchestra, I feel the resonance of iconic electronic music composers such as Pierre Schafer, Stockhausen or Subotnick. And of course I am, like many creative musicians today, a student of the great 20th Century composers of the European tradition – Messian, Carter, Ligeti, Bartok and my personal favorite, Toru Takemitsu.”

[Adam Rudolph / Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra | photo credit: Scott Friedlander]

Rudolph has integrated and transformed these influences into a highly personalized language, a language whose rhythmic component, which he calls “Cyclic Verticalism,” combines polyrhythms (from African music) and rhythm cycles (from Indian music). Rudolph’s Go: Organic Orchestra has performed worldwide at music festivals and served residencies in such countries as USA, Turkey, Mexico, Italy, Finland, Denmark and Norway.

Rudolph’s process is more egalitarian and community driven than the top down structure of Western orchestra. “My idea is to get the most structural and aesthetic focus from the music with the least amount of reading. I want the musicians to bring their own voice, feeling, and phraseology to the music. In a kind of “de-composing” process, he creates graphic scores that consist of what he calls “pure elements” – “Interval Matrices,” “Cosmograms” and Ostinatos of Circularity”. Add to the process Rudolph’s unique conducting method. “Through trial and error I have invented my own way of conducting. As with the score, I wanted my conducting to yield as much interpretative range as I could get with the fewest, simplest and clearest gestures possible. I think of my conducting method as being more related to the idea of something that conducts electricity than someone who is always leading. When I begin a concert, I don’t know what is going to happen, how the music will unfold. After my initial gesture, as I hear the first sounds of the orchestra I follow the feelings and ideas of where the music flows. But we are all PREPARED due to deep study of the elements in the score. So the score, the musicians and myself as conductor, we all dialogue in a process which I consider “organic.”

With the Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra he moves the idea of what an orchestra can actually BE resolutely into the 21st century. He states: “When you generate new creative processes, the result will be prototypical art.” On Turning Towards the Light the 11 guitarists sound in turn like a futuristic string section, percussion group, woodwinds, and brass. Rudolph says that his NOT being a guitarist was an advantage in leading this project. “Since I don’t play guitar, I don’t really think “guitaristically,” I’m thinking compositionally and percussively. Perhaps that led us into some areas we might not have gotten to otherwise. I have to say also that these musicians were so incredible – they were so generous in letting their virtuosity serve the musical moment. They played with so much imagination and soulfulness. I am grateful.”

Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra is a natural evolution for Rudolph’s orchestral vision. The music asks to be heard on its own terms; its unprecedented sounds and formulations invite the listener to set aside their preconceived ideas and expectations. Rudolph adds: “while I was mixing the recording I felt the music itself was so new that is was teaching me HOW to listen to itself. The act of listening to it became a creative activity. I think there are still people who like to engage music that way.”

To celebrate the release of Turning Towards the Light, Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra will be playing shows in major cities along the East Coast, in venues including Roulette and Ars Nova. The all-star guitar orchestra is also available for festival bookings worldwide. 


If you'd like to share music from this release, please feel free to use the following track:



ARTIST WEB SITES // - @Facebook -


Friday, October 23, 2015

58th Grammy Awards Season: For Your Consideration

- the 58th GRAMMY Awards Season has begun! -

When making your music selections
for the 2015 Grammy Awards Season, please consider these outstanding jazz, alternative rock and archival recordings released by Cuneiform Records

jazz large ensembles:
albums / compositions / arrangements / solos

"Both Play a Bill Frisell Set List and In My View offer harmonically redolent and melodically fertile arrangements in addition to wonderfully tuneful material. If listeners are looking for jazz big band music which doesn’t remain wholly in the jazz past but does not relinquish jazz conventions, these NDR Bigband releases are well worth investigating. 4 stars"
- Audiophile Audition

Michael Gibbs and the NDR Bigband
Play A Bill Frisell Set List

"On The Lookout / Far Away"
@SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube

For Your Consideration:
- Large Jazz Ensemble Album -
Michael Gibbs and the NDR Bigband
Play A Bill Frisell Set List

For Your Consideration:
- Improvised Jazz Solo -
[solo by Bill Frisell on "Benny's Bugle"]

“So much came from my association with Mike... He went from being my hero to a friend… I’ve always fantasized about doing something with him adapting some of my music.”
- Bill Frisell

he music was magical, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to release it.
- Michael Gibbs

The dauntingly prolific Bill Frisell has recorded in a vast array of settings, but he’s never made an album like Play a Bill Frisell Set List, his first-ever appearance as the featured soloist on a big band session. Captured live in concert with one of the world’s great jazz orchestras, NDR Bigband, the guitarist delivers a tour de force performance exploring sleek, spacious and vividly expressive arrangements of compositions drawn from throughout his career designed specifically for him and the NDR (with guest Jeff Ballard) by Michael Gibbs.

"4 stars. At the 2013 Überjazz Festival in Hamburg, Germany, conductor Michael Gibbs and the NDR Bigband sought to answer a burning question: How much fire could a large ensemble bring to a typical Bill Frisell set?... With Frisell at the helm, the band played through his own compositions, standards and favorite covers—proving that, yes, bigger can sometimes be better....
By laying back and letting Frisell’s music shine, Gibbs and the NDR Bigband have created an essential entry in Frisell’s oeuvre.
- DownBeat

"Frisell is clearly inspired by Gibbs’ handiwork, and the same holds true for the Bigband, as it moves through a series of passionate, painterly and exuberant performances."
Jazz Times
Michael Gibbs and the NDR Bigband
In My View

"‘Tis As It Should Be"
@SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube

For Your Consideration:
- Instrumental Composition -
"Tis As It Should Be"
[composed by Michael Gibbs]

For Your Consideration:
- Arrangement, Instrumental -
[Ornette Coleman composition;
arranged by Michael Gibbs]

While studded with treasured recordings reflecting his singular writing skills, Michael Gibbs’ slim discography has never kept pace with the breadth and depth of his creative output. In a career spanning more than half a century he’s collaborated with a dazzling array of artists in jazz and beyond, including Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, Joni Mitchell, John Scofield, Gary Burton, Whitney Houston, Peter Gabriel, and Richard Galliano. Gibbs has honed a subtle and highly personal approach to arranging and composition, both beautifully showcased here and wonderfully performed by the renowned NDR Bigband.

"the treatment is colorfully expansive, designed to accommodate the ensemble’s impressive roster of soloists. ...the ensemble brings surging hard-bop drive to Ornette Coleman’s “Ramblin’,” with alto saxophonist Peter Bolte leading the way. ...rounding out the session are four diverse compositions by Gibbs that radiate a signature blend of lyricism and verve."
Jazz Times

"The NDR Bigband commence on Gibbs’ “Tis As It Should Be,” which has intertwined exchanges from the many horns, including Lauer’s sax and Claus Stötter’s Flugelhorn. Stötter’s glossy lines circulate throughout this engaging, Latin-shaded piece. ...Another highpoint is a boisterous take of Coleman’s soulful, rural blues tune, “Ramblin’,” (see Coleman’s 1959 LP Change of the Century) where the horns sweep with energy, as Ingmar Heller replicates Charlie Haden’s evocative bass. Guitarist Sandra Hempel also enhances the tune’s verve."
-Audiophile Audition

contemporary instrumental / instrumental jazz:
albums / compositions / solos

Anthony Pirog
Palo Colorado Dream

"The Great Northern"
@SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube

For Your Consideration:
- Contemporary Instrumental Album -
Anthony Pirog
Palo Colorado Dream

For Your Consideration:
- Improvised Jazz Solo -
[solo by Anthony Pirog on
"The Great Northern"]

For Your Consideration:
- Instrumental Composition -
"The New Electric"
[composed by Anthony Pirog]

Washington, D.C.’s thriving jazz and experimental music scenes wouldn’t be quite where they are today without Anthony Pirog. With fearsome chops and a keen ear for odd beauty, Pirog has helped expand the possibilities of jazz, rock and experimentalism in a city formerly known for its straight-ahead tradition. Palo Colorado Dream—recorded with the all-star trio of Michael Formanek on bass and Ches Smith on drums—is Pirog’s debut as a bandleader, and it marks the young innovator’s entrance onto the national stage. The album has an immersive depth and understated allure that hold the listener rapt. And they illustrate all the various realms of Pirog’s artistry: the spinning fantasy-scape of his loops and the hard-nosed technical power of his soloing, his patience with a slow build and his knack for moments of fierce catharsis.

“One of jazz’s most reliable conduits to a living, breathing audience is electric-guitar heroism, and Anthony Pirog...seems poised to become a hero of the instrument.”
- The New York Times

“’s a pleasure to hear this guitarist follow in Frisell’s footsteps toward distinctive new ground. Here with an avant-garde-leaning rhythm section...Pirog ventures into bent jazz, jagged post-rock and lush atmosphere that’s engineered for wide open spaces.”
- LA Times

“A post-modern guitarist in the making”
- JazzTimes

“...make no mistake, Palo Colorado Dream is an Anthony Pirog session all the way, and an ear-opening display of his stunningly wide range of talents.”
- All Music

“A record that’s equally capable of enchanting you and pummeling you with many shades of aura in between, Palo Colorado Dream catapults Anthony Pirog into the corps of elite experimental guitarists.”
- Something Else Reviews
Rob Mazurek /
Exploding Star Orchestra

Galactic Parables: Volume 1

"The Arc of Slavery #72"

@SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube

For Your Consideration:
- Jazz Instrumental Album -
Rob Mazurek /
Exploding Star Orchestra

Galactic Parables: Volume 1

Jazz cornetist, composer and conceptualist Rob Mazurek leads his Exploding Star Orchestra through one of his most ambitious recordings, Galactic Parables: Volume 1, which is part of Mazurek’s epic sci-fi opera exploring an apocalyptic vision inspired by the writings of Samuel R. Delany and Stanislaw Lem. Featuring: Rob Mazurek, Damon Locks, Angelica Sanchez, Nicole Mitchell, Jeff Parker, John Herndon, Matthew Lux, Matthew Bauder, Chad Taylor, Guilherme Granado and Mauricio Takara.

"5/5 stars. Mazurek has raised the bar with his most impressive, far reaching and unique collection with the astounding Galactic Parables: Volume 1. Inspired in part by the music and overarching themes of Sun Ra and linked to AACM history in Mazurek's hometown of Chicago, the artist has long painted on a broader canvas, geographically, energetically and spiritually. This double-disc collection (and three LPs in the vinyl version) continues Mazurek's exploration of dimensions and concepts that defy boundaries and definitions."
-All About Jazz

"Chicago-based avant jazz musician and composer Rob Mazurek has produced his most cosmic, interplanetary work with the Exploding Star Orchestra, working with a rotating assembly featuring regular collaborators from his other ensembles such as Chicago Underground and São Paulo Underground to create his most science fiction-themed, Sun Ra-inspired compositions. Galactic Parables, Vol. 1, commissioned by the Sant'Anna Arresi Jazz Festival in Sardinia, Italy in 2013, is the Orchestra's most ambitious undertaking yet."
- All Music

"Groundbreaking cornetist, composer, improviser, and bandleader Rob Mazurek is busy amassing one of the most impressive discographies of the 21st century, and a main thread in that value belongs to his consistently evolving Exploding Star Orchestra. Galactic Parables: Volume 1 is an expansive, beautifully designed 2CD/3LP set marking the Orchestra’s 10th anniversary and corralling a pair of live performances of the titular science-fictive suite. In detailing the boldness of Mazurek’s vision it’s likely his best to date...
We can either allow the constant stream of departed greats to burden us or we can reflect, accept and then lend our ears to the present, the better to adequately prepare for...the future. ...Rob Mazurek and the Exploding Star Orchestra reside at the apex of what’s happening musically right now.."
- The Vinyl District

alternative instrumental rock:
albums / videos / compositions

the cellar and point

"white cylinder (a)"
@SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @Youtube

the cellar and point"white cylinder (a)"
official music video

For Your Consideration:
- Instrumental Composition -
[for "Arc" composed by Joseph Branciforte and Christopher Botta ]

For Your Consideration:
- Music Video -
the cellar and point
White Cylinder (a)"

“A truly kaleidoscopic sonic journey. The patience and effort involved have resulted in one of 2014's finest albums of challenging, engaging, and genre-defying contemporary music.”
- All Music Guide

"Post-everything... Chamber music, rock, jazz, post-rock and electronic all rub elbows, and the sparks fly... The Cellar and Point have moved into a territory all their own."
- Wondering Sound

“From one song to the next, and sometimes between the beginning and end of a single song, Ambit takes the listener on a journey through texture, timbre, and time. It is a challenging and fascinating effort.”
- All About Jazz

“The Cellar and Point... use acoustic instruments and electronics to create a sound that is winningly melodic, thoughtful in its balance, groove-heavy, sometimes glitchy, and delightfully unpredictable as the septet straddles all kinds of genres.”
- WNYC’s New Sounds

“The new music band/pop group/undefinable collective... contains some of the finest musicians around. Their debut CD is a mix of catchy, overwhelming, bewildering, and unadulterated awesome.”
- Q2 Music / WQXR

“Beautiful. It’s a lovely sound: really, really well-engineered, beautifully produced. Well worth your listening on headphones for this one.”
- BBC Radio

“It’s alternately knotty and straightforward, smooth and at times a little abrasive, tonal and dissonant. Anyone can do that. But can they put all these together into a consistent, connected whole like The Cellar and Point does? I doubt it.” - Something Else!

“One of the most interesting bands of the moment, perhaps able to answer the question "where is music going?”
- All About Jazz Italia

2014 Year in Music: Best Grooves
“An exhilarating, fascinating and beautiful record.” - The Brooklyn Rail
Obscure Knowledge

"Obscure Knowledge I" ["Radio" Edit]
@SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube

For Your Consideration:
- Alternative Music Album -
Obscure Knowledge

The greatly admired instrumental experimental rock band Guapo is celebrating 20 years in the game by releasing Obscure Knowledge, their explosive new album and tenth release! Centered around founding member and extraordinary drummer David J. Smith, the group on the album also features Kavus Torabi (guitar), Emmett Elvin (keyboards) and James Sedwards (bass). Guapo has always been committed to composing and playing inventive music. Torabi says: “...really it’s about four people playing together and respecting each other. All four people are trying to serve what the music does - not themselves.”

"A maximal minimalist masterpiece. ...The band's take-no-prisoners attitude is obvious from the word go. ...there are moments where we get the answer to thay buring question: what would Mahavishnu Orchestra and Van der Graaf Generator have sounded like if they ever joined forces? ... Unflinchingly adventurous and...brilliant...Obscure Knowledge...sets the benchmark by which others can be measured."
-Prog Magazine

"Guapo have occupied a period of music history that, from the moment people cottoned on that Radiohead might possibly have listened to a Pink Floyd album or two, has seen the rehabilitation of the word 'prog'... In parallel with this, we've also seen the rise of post-rock... In this time, Guapo have evolved from their noise rock origins to become Britain's foremost purveyors of instrumental avant prog...
Guapo...truly have become one of those groups that only really sound like themselves"
- The Quietus

"Psychedelic prog-rock’s mysterium tremendum beckons throughout Obscure Knowledge, English quartet Guapo’s captivating 43-minute tour de force. With several minutes of droning pipes slipped between lengthy ensemble sections, Obscure Knowledge is a smoothly flowing tapestry of musical moments that reappear and disappear into the flux. ... Guapo evokes the spirit of Hawkwind, Todd Rundgren’s earliest Utopia and dark Phish while dropping plenty of new alchemy itself."
- Relix

"One can always count on Guapo to deliver full-on at highest intensity, yet still embrace the subtleties and finest textural qualities that make their sound at once mesmerizing and profoundly psychedelic. ...At times their extended groaning and growling dronescapes may seem very improvised, bordering on total chaos at times, but this amazing four-piece always comes out of it in some tightly composed way that just boggles the mind. ...Obscure Knowledge...frees the spirit and opens the mind."
- Exposé

"Obscure Knowledge is a near-perfect album for the discerning progressive rock fan.... Guapo, a British instrumental-only experimental group, indulges in fusion, psychedelia, minimalism, funk, avant-metal, noise and more on Obscure Knowledge. ...This thing sounds downright dangerous at times."
- Shepherd Express

archival releases:
albums / liner notes

Soft Machine
Switzerland 1974

"Hazard Profile"
@SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube

For Your Consideration:
- Historical Album -
Soft Machine
Switzerland 1974
CD+DVD set

Soft Machine were one of the greatest UK avant/jazz-rock bands of all time. Switzerland 1974 is a CD+DVD set featuring their Montreux Jazz Festival performance, captured just a couple of weeks before their studio sessions in London for Bundles. The hour-long set is the only available visual document of Soft Machine’s Mike Ratledge, John Marshall, Karl Jenkins, Roy Babbington, Allan Holdsworth line-up. As well as retracing Soft Machine’s transformation into one of the leading exponents of jazz-fusion, Switzerland 1974 provides a rare chance to witness the genesis of guitar legend Allan Holdsworth’s unique, innovative and unbelievably fluid and dexterous playing, before he went on to universal acclaim.

"4.5/5 stars. One of the holiest of holy grails for Soft Machine fans has... been a recording made at the 1974 Montreux Jazz Festival... The set is, in a word, nuclear. And the the absolute best it's ever been....the work that the label has devoted to cleaning up both the sound and picture makes this the definitive (and only legal) version of a stellar performance by a group that lasted a little more than a year before [Alan] Holdsworth left... Switzerland 1974 contains the only existing video document of this version of Soft Machine..."
-All About Jazz

"4 stars. After its beginnings on London’s far-out underground rock scene in 1966-’68, Soft Machine went through eight jazz-rock incarnations without a guitarist. then, in 1973, Allan Holdsworth signed on for about 15 there's a CD/DVD package with excellent sound restoration that finds the band at the Montreux Jazz Festival."
- DownBeat

"...a more historically important document of this powerful and vibrant band is difficult to imagine.
... Aymeric Leroy’s liners, excellent and detailed as usual, outline the journey and multiple points of transition that led the band from its somewhat lethargic state toward the hard-hitting sound heard here and on the subsequent studio album, Bundles...
...Udi Koomran’s masterful restoration gives us a document in the best possible quality. ...this is now the way to hear a group scaling the proverbial heights."

"You have to be an extremely confident unit—and one mother of a band—to turn up at a prestigious mega-gig like the Montreux Jazz Festival and drop a set of new material on the audience like the newly rejiggered Soft Machine did in July 1974. ....that material would go on to comprise 1975’s Bundles, a fusion juggernaut....
The accompanying DVD of the gig is all that’s turned up, footage-wise, for this lineup, so savor that... The crowd clearly gets that something beyond even standard top-gig fare has gone down, and everyone, at the end, loses it. Quite the banner achievement for this group...and for this resulting beckoner of a live package."
- Jazz Times
Mike Osborne

"An Idea"
@SoundCloud / @Bandcamp / @YouTube

For Your Consideration:
- Album Notes -
[Liner notes for Dawn, an archival release by Mike Osborne (1941-2007),
written by Andrey Henkin]

"Dawn presents Osborne in both his earliest surviving recording, as a co-leader with Surman of a quartet from 1966, and in 1970 with the first known recordings of his mighty trio with...Harry Miller and Louis Moholo. These unearthed recordings not only fill in important gaps in Osborne's own discography but in the history of British jazz as a whole.
In all, there is well over an hour of excellent quality, previously unheard and unreleased recordings here, as well as a 12 page booklet with informative liner notes and many previously unseen photos. This is an important document historically, but even more importantly, it's really great music."
- Close to the Edge

"Dawn is an important historical document. That alone justifies its release. Of course, historical documents don't always entertain—that's not their primary function. Thankfully, Dawn is historically important and entertaining. Osborne and his colleagues are on terrific form, bursting with ideas and barely controllable energy, a reminder that late-60s UK jazz may have operated in the commercial shadows but it basked in the creative sunlight."
- All About Jazz

"The three sessions compiled on Dawn - including his very first - document two of the most important partnerships in alto saxophonist Mike Osborne’s truncated career at first light. A four-track 1966 quartet session finds Osborne sharing the front line with John Surman, with whom Osborne would work with in numerous ensembles, including the groundbreaking saxophone trio SOS. Six tracks from two 1970 dates with bassist Harry Miller and drummer Louis Moholo predate Bordercrossing, the first of the trio’s classic Ogun albums by five years. However, the reason this is one of the better archival releases of the past few years is that the music exudes the simultaneous collective realization that they were really on to something vital."
-Point of Departure

" outstanding document of three early sessions by the late alto saxophonist, two with his trio featuring drummer Louis Moholo and bassist Harry Miller from August and December 1970, and a third session from June 1966 with Miller, baritone and soprano saxophonist John Surman, and drummer Alan Jackson."

"Dawn adds two more invaluable pieces to the Osborne puzzle by presenting a set of archival small ensemble recordings with the altoist at the helm. The disc’s first six tracks date to 1970 and find him fronting a trio with familiars Miller and Moholo....
The disc’s final four tracks turn the calendar back four years. ...Fifteen years later he would succumb to...schizophrenia and be forced to withdraw from performance entirely for the remainder of his days. It’s difficult to conjecture a grimmer and grievous fate for a musician with the prodigious talent and fortitude Osborne demonstrated whenever he graced a stage or studio in his youth."
- Dusted

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